Human Behaviour

Album: Debut (1993)
Charted: 36

Songfacts®:

  • This was the first UK Top 40 hit for Björk. She grew up in a hippie commune, recording her first album at the age of 11. In her teens she worked with the group Kukl (Witchcraft) before becoming a member of The Sugarcubes.
  • One influence for the video was Russian animator Yuri Norstein's classic cartoon The Hedgehog In The Fog. It was the first Björk video directed by Michel Gondry, who would later helm her videos for "Hyperballad," "Joga," "Bachelorette," "Declare Independence" and "Crystalline."
  • Björk (from Rolling Stone, September 1993): "Human Behaviour is an animal's point of view on humans. And the animals are definitely supposed to win in the end. So why, one might ask, is the conquering bear presented as a man-made toy? I don't know. I guess I just didn't think it would be fair to force an animal to act in a video. I mean, that would be an extension of what I'm against. I told him (Michel Gondry the video's director), 'I want a bear and textures like handmade wood and leaves and earth, and I want it to seem like animation.' Then I backed out."
  • Björk explained the line, "There's definitely, definitely, definitely no logic to human behaviour" during a 2011 Q&A with The Guardian: "At the time I wrote it I was referring to my childhood and probably talking about how I felt more comfortable on my own walking outside singing and stuff than hanging out with humans... I experienced harmony with kids, the mountains and the ocean surrounding Reykjavik and animals I guess but found grown ups rather chaotic and nonsensical."
  • Björk initially wrote the vocal melody in 1988 when she was still the lead singer of the Sugarcubes, but they couldn't come up with the music to fit it. Producer Nellee Hooper found the solution in a tinkered sample from "Go Down Dying" by Brazilian musician Antonio Carlos Jobim.

Comments: 2

  • Jc Aguirre from Christmas IslandThe song was also inspired by the riff from Ray Brown Orchestra's "Go Down Dying."
  • Bill from UsWow no comments here on such a cool song and memorable video? Love the drums in this.
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